This time, I’m trying my hand at another list article, this time on my favorite anime cats. Rather than being a top 5 list, however, I am presenting my choices in alphabetical order.
Chi from Chi’s Sweet Home
My first exposure to Chi came from reading the Chi’s Sweet Home manga. I loved following the stories of this curious young kitten in print, but I wondered what it would be like to see Chi in an animated form. I was thrilled when I discovered I could get a hold of the North American releases for the Chi’s Sweet Home anime through my local library system.
Seeing Chi moving around in an animated form made me like Chi even more. Let’s admit it, Chi looks really cute. And for the anime, the director chose the perfect voice actor to portray Chi, because the cuteness level of the voice matches the character’s adorable look.
Chi is one of my favorite anime cats thanks to being so cute, adorable, and lovable. If Chi was a real cat, she’s one I would love to just hold and cuddle all day long.
Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service
Jiji is the familiar for Kiki, a young witch in training. But he’s not just an ordinary cat, he’s a talking cat. Early on in the film, Jiji seems to fill in for the role of a guardian, since Kiki leaves home and doesn’t have her parents around. He serves as the voice of caution and reason, although he can be a little over-the-top at times. But Jiji always has Kiki’s best interests at heart.
Jiji is also there to help Kiki out when she needs it. When she loses a black cat toy that she was supposed to deliver, Jiji fills in for the stuffed toy until Kiki can locate it. Yes, he agrees to do it grudgingly, but he still does it. How many cats would be willing to go that far for their owner?
I like Jiji because even though he can be snarky, he still cares about Kiki and wants to do what he can to help her succeed in her training.
Karin from Dragon Ball
Karin is a wise old cat who is over 800 years old and lives on top of a giant tower. He’s also a martial arts master. We first meet Karin in Dragon Ball, when Goku climbs up Karin Tower in order to drink the “Sacred Water” that is supposed to increase his strength and speed. Goku hears about Karin before heading up the tower, but has no idea that Karin is actually a cat. Over the course of the Dragon Ball franchise, just about anyone who encounters Karin are surprised to discover that he’s actually a cat.
Karin is a martial arts master, but he’s also got a bit of a tricky and sarcastic streak in him. But considering that Karin later winds up having Yajirobe hanging around him at the top of the tower, that sarcastic streak certainly comes in handy! But even though Karin can be sarcastic, he still does genuinely care about the other characters.
I like Karin because he can teach others how to effectively use martial arts, and be snarky yet caring.
Luna from Sailor Moon
Luna is another black talking cat, but unlike Jiji, she’s from the Moon Kingdom and serves as an adviser to Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon. While their bond is an uneasy one at first, both Usagi and Luna grow closer over time. Luna tends to give unsolicited advice, which annoyed Usagi early on. But as time goes on, Usagi seems to start to realize that Luna is trying to help, rather than annoy her, with the advice.
Like the other talking cats that appear on this list, Luna will sometimes get some witty lines… with some of those lines being slightly snarky observations of Usagi. I don’t think Luna intends to be mean when she says these things, though. I think she says them more out of frustration than anything else.
But Luna is cool for more than just being able to talk. She can also use a computer when she provides aid and knowledge for Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Guardians. I guess the fact that Luna comes from the moon makes her more technologically advanced than regular cats.
Even though Sailor Moon also features two other cats, Artemis and Diana, I think that Luna is the best one of the three. To be honest, it’s always felt like that Artemis and Diana were never as well developed of characters as Luna was.
Yoruichi from Bleach
Yoruichi has a major difference from the other cats on the list. Yoruichi is actually a female human who has the ability to transform into a small black cat. In her black cat form, Yoruichi has a distinctive male voice when she speaks. Yoruichi appears to prefer spending her time as cat rather than as a human. She loves her cat form so much that she will become upset if someone damages it or insults it.
Regardless of what form Yoruichi is in, she is witty and has a vast knowledge of Soul Society. Her knowledge comes in handy, especially early on in the series when she’s helping to train Ichigo Kurosaki. But she also likes to tease people if she can.
No matter what form Yoruichi is in, she can be rather badass, which is why I wanted to include her cat form in this list. I have to admit that I wanted to limit this list to include only one human who can transform into a cat, so I had to make a choice between Yoruichi and Kyo from Fruits Basket. While I like Kyo, I ultimately ended up choosing Yoruichi because of how she can kick butt, but can also be laid-back and flirty when she wants to be.